WACO, Texas – The Texas Farm Bureau says agricultural losses from its statewide drought conditions are projected to reach $1.2 billion and could be higher than that, based on data from Texas AgriLive Extension economists.

“Each day without rainfall is one in which crop and livestock losses mount,” said Dr. David Anderson, Texas AgriLife Extension livestock economist. “Even with the severity of the current drought, estimation of economic losses is difficult given that we are still early in the growing season.”

Herds had to be reduced by ranchers. Cattle have been sold off to both recuperate costs and reduce necessary inputs. Since there is a shortage of pasture grazing, producers have had to spend more money on supplemental feed.

“Texas is the largest beef cow producing state in the US with more than 5 million head,” Anderson said. “More than 90 percent of the state’s beef cows are located in counties categorized as being in severe to exceptional drought.”

In 2008, agricultural losses in Texas totaled $1.4 billion, compared to $3.6 billion in losses recorded in 2009.